Updated June 25, 2020
New Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes have been created that streamline the novel coronavirus testing currently available on the United States market.
Summary of the SARS-CoV-2 related CPT codes
Review a summary of the SARS-CoV-2 related CPT codes that have been approved and published for the 2021 CPT code set.
- Accepted addition of code 87635 to report infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique. The new code was effective March 13, 2020.
- Accepted revision of code 86318 to report immunoassay for infectious agent antibody(ies) and to be a parent to 86328; addition of code 86328 to report single step antibody testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; addition of child code 86769 to report multiple-step antibody testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; and revision of the Immunology guidelines. The new codes and revision were effective April 10, 2020.
- Accepted addition of PLA code 0202U to report the BioFire® Respiratory Panel 2.1 (RP2.1) test. The new code was effective May 20, 2020.
- Accepted addition of code 87426 to report infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. In addition, two new PLA codes (0223U and 0224U) were accepted for detection of SARS-CoV-2.
Please note that, per the standard early release delivery process for CPT codes, you will need to manually upload these code descriptors into your EHR system. These CPT codes will arrive as part of the complete CPT code set in the data file for 2021 later this year.
Review and download the full CPT code descriptor release.
Category I/Pathology and Laboratory
- Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Long descriptors (PDF)
- Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Medium descriptors (PDF)
- Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Short descriptors (PDF)
The CPT Editorial Panel approved the codes at special, expedited meetings held, via telephone, on March 13, 2020 and April 10, 2020. In addition, the Panel’s Executive Committee approved the new PLA code via electronic communication on May 20, 2020.
CPT® Assistant provides guidance for new codes
CPT Assistant is providing fact sheets for coding guidance for new SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)-related testing codes.
The fact sheets include:
- Codes, descriptors and purpose
- Clinical examples
- Description of the procedures
Coding advice and testing guides
- Quick reference flow chart for CPT reporting for COVID-19 testing (PDF)
- Coding scenarios and how to apply best coding practices (PDF)
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